Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization

Applies to:
Windows 7 VDI

A whitepaper for Windows 7 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) performance optimization.

It goes over the following the following topics:

· Visual Effects Settings

· Windows Services Optimization Recommendations

· Windows “Features” Possible Settings

· Windows Group Policy Settings

· Windows Event Log Optimization Recommendations

· Virtual Machine Disk Controller Configuration

· Clean up miscellaneous files from the base image before locking down as “gold”

· Apply applicable Microsoft updates and hotfixes

· Memory Management Settings

· Networking Recommendations

· Scheduled Tasks

· Increase Service Timeout

· Disable Boot Animation

· Change Hard Error Popup Behavior

· File System Optimizations

· Event Trace Sessions

· Crashdump Recovery Options

· Pagefile Settings

· Miscellaneous Startup Items



Download available at:

Performance Optimization Guidelines for Windows 7 Desktop Virtualization

v1.0 Jun. 21, 2012
v1.9 Dec. 3, 2012

Published to web: 10/18/2013:


The Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) view on Virtual Desktop (VDI) Density
Deconstructing the PFE VDI Optimization Script

Windows 7 VDI image hotfixes

Comments (2)
  1. hypothesis says:

    Is it correct that most of non-specific to VDI settings are appropriate to use on servers and workstations for performance reasons?

  2. Hello Hypothesis,

    There are quite a few settings and services that could be applied to workstations and servers.  You'll need to go through those fairly carefully to make sure.  Windows was designed to run on many different computers in many different ways.  There is a lot of data logging, customer feedback, and troubleshooting technology that are in Windows to help it run well and attempt to automatically repair common issues.

    One big area is the hotfix list.  There are approximately 135 updates available if you install new; either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.  On top of that, there are at least that many more "hotfixes" available.  A new version of the paper referenced above has an updated list, will be republished soon, and references a Wiki with a list of Windows 7 VDI hotfixes:…/

    My philosophy, and guidance to customers I work with, is that these hotfixes should be periodically reviewed and considered for testing.  A lot of these hotfixes address non-security, but very important performance and reliability issues.  These hotfixes are the only way to update Windows code outside of security fixes (and occasional recommended updates) that are published through Windows Update, until the next service pack is released.

    Most Windows hotfixes for Windows 7 are applicable to Windows Server 2008 R2.  Therefore if you test and approve a fix for Window 7, you could do the same for Windows 2008 R2.  If you approve that fix for Windows Server 2008 R2, you could make the hotfix a baseline for all your versions of Windows.  That way you don't have a "one-off" situation which can make things a little more complicated.


    Robert Smith, Sr. PFE, Microsoft

Comments are closed.

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